Speakout is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. Speakout articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.
Before the Weiwei's dragon a hall's-worth of (brilliant) lego portraits, the "gallery" spaces of Alcatraz were host to Well Contested Sites a 13-minute dance and theater collaboration between a group of men who were previously incarcerated, performing artists from the Bay Area, choreographer Amie Dowling and filmmaker Austin Forbord. The performance and film draw on the experiences and physical memories, or memories of the physical.
Now seven years into the great recession of 2008, there is no respite in sight for the American working class. Yet while much of the economy and people are afflicted by the contraction of austerity in the capitalism of the 21st century, some areas have never done better. In order to understand the duality of 21st-century capitalism, we need to look at the forces of power benefiting from it.
Last November 20, the French National Assembly signaled its strong support for the government's militarist and securitarian reaction to the killings of November 13 by voting almost unanimously to extend for three additional months, effective November 26, the state of emergency decreed six days earlier. This was the first time since the Algerian war (that is, during the putsches of 1958 and 1961) that the state of emergency had been proclaimed throughout the entire French metropolitan territory.
Three new documentaries (The Dream of Europe, Lampedusa in Winter, Salam Neighbor) track the journeys and lives of Middle Eastern and African asylum seekers.
What is it really like to be forced to flee the place you call home burdened with the uncertainty that you may never go back? To live most of your life in a refugee camp? To crowd onto a small rickety boat, or evade the police in a forest, unsure if you’ll survive the night?
Millions of Americans believe that war doesn't work, that war cannot end terrorism because war is terrorism and that US war-making is breeding a new generation of terrorists around the world. Millions also want the senseless killing to stop and they realize we must begin with ending our own military's killing sprees. Americans want a new nonviolent response to the violence in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen.
What is it, this nonviolence? Who gets to define it? A kindergarten teacher is nonviolent when she puts a vase of fresh flowers on her desk and smiles at her little students, right? A young man who publicly refuses to be drafted during an invasion of another country is nonviolent, certainly. How about an old man who writes a letter to the editor arguing for peace on earth? And really, how about a rich man who makes money entirely by playing the stock market from his home computer? That's nonviolent, eh?
In 2016, Brazil's prestigious federal universities will be required to confirm that fifty percent of their incoming students come from public schools. Furthermore, slots for self-identifying Black, mixed-race and Indigenous students must correspond to the proportion of the local population.
The United States is in a standoff with Russia over Ukraine. The "war on terror" has been ongoing for 14 years. US political pressure is being brought to bear on any kind of a negotiated agreement with Iran. US military involvement continues in Iraq and Afghanistan as tensions rise with other powers in the region. Yemen is dissolving into a state of civil war and Syria has become a crucible of international conflict, record refugee flight and armed rebellion.
At times of increased tension, both ISIL and racists in the west are taking a similar path to polarize the public. I'd propose an alternative approach to avoid a bleak future with limited civil liberties. Coming back from a medical mission that treated the unfortunate Syrian refugees in Jordan, I could imagine the customs and border protection officer denying my entrance to the country of my citizenship because I am a Muslim.
There's an alarming trend that few seem to have noticed: According to World Values Survey data, a growing number of Americans believe that having a democratic system is a bad idea. Using the annual average rate of growth from 1995-2011, I've estimated that over 60 million Americans - that's more than twice the size of Texas - are of this view today.